ASVAB Retesting

asvab-restestingASVAB Retesting

When you take the ASVAB you can’t actually ‘fail’, but you can fail to achieve a high enough AFQT score to enlist in the service you want. Denial of enlistment into a specific services may happen because your AFQT score is too low. When your AFQT score is too low you may need to focus more study efforts on one or more of four areas: math knowledge skills, arithmetic reasoning skills, reading comprehension skills, and word knowledge skills. These are the four subtests which are used to calculate your AFQT score. Once you’re sure that you are ready, you can apply for a retest.

ASVAB Test Validation Times

ASVAB tests are valid for two years, as long as you are not in the military. In most cases, once your join the military, your ASVAB scores remain valid as long as you are in. After you take an initial ASVAB test, you can retake the test after 30 days. After the retest, you must wait at least six months before taking the ASVAB again.

When you retake the ASVAB, it’s not your highest score that counts, but rather the score on your latest test. If you score lower on the retest, that is the score which will be used for your military enlistment.

When You Can and Cannot Re-Take The ASVAB

Each of the military services has its own rules concerning whether or not they will allow a retest

Army: The Army will allow a retest only if the applicant’s previous ASVAB test has expired, or the applicant failed to achieve an AFQT score high enough to qualify for enlistment, or when unusual circumstances occur, such as if an applicant, through no fault of his or her own, is unable to complete the test. For example, an applicant is called away from test because of an emergency. Army recruiters are not allowed to schedule a retest for the sole purpose of increasing scores in order to qualify for enlistment incentives, job qualifications, or other special enlistment programs.

Air Force: The Air Force does not allow retesting applicants after they have enlisted in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP). Current policy allows retesting of applicants who are not holding a job/aptitude area reservation and/or are not in DEP, but already have a qualifying AFQT score. Retesting is authorized when the applicant’s current line scores (job qualification scores) limit the ability to match an Air Force skill with his or her qualifications.

Navy: The Navy allows retesting of applicants who’s previous ASVAB test has expired, or if the applicant fails to achieve a qualifying AFQT score for enlistment in the Navy. In most cases, individuals in the DEP cannot re-test. One notable exception is the Navy’s DEP Enrichment Program. This program provides for the provisional DEP enlistment of high school diploma graduates with AFQT scores between 28 and 30. Individuals enlisted under the program are enrolled in academic enhancement training, retested with the ASVAB, and accessed onto active duty provided they score 31 or higher on the subsequent ASVAB re-test.

Marine Corps: The Marine Corps will authorize a retest if the applicant’s previous test is expired. Otherwise, recruiters can request a retest as long as the retesting is being required because the initial scores (considering the applicant’s education, training, and experience) do not appear to reflect his or her true capability. Additionally, the retest cannot be requested solely because the applicants initial test scores did not meet the standards prescribed for specific military job qualification.

Coast Guard: For Coast Guard enlistments, six months must elapse since an applicant’s last test before he or she may retest solely for the purpose of raising scores to qualify for a particular enlistment option. The Coast Guard Recruiting Center may authorize retesting after 30 days have passed from an initial ASVAB test if substantial reason exists to believe the initial AFQT score or subtest scores do not reflect an applicant’s education, training or experience.

Where are ASVAB Tests Administered?

Military recruits take the ASVAB test at either a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS), 65 of which are located around the US and in Puerto Rico, or at a Military Entrance Test Site (METS), which are often administered in Federal building, Military Reserve centers or National Guard armories.

High school, college and university students sitting for the ASVAB test as part of the ASVAB Career Exploration Program will normally take the exam in a designated area of their high school or college. You will be notified the exact location of your test when you are assigned and notified of the date and time of your ASVAB test.

At MEPS locations, nearly all locations provide computerized testing. In almost all cases the METS locations require that the questions be performed with pen and paper.

What is Covered on the ASVAB Test?

Whether written or computer based, the topics covered will be the same although the questions from one test to another will likely be different to help prevent cheating. The total time for the pen and paper test including breaks is about 3 hours. The computer based test has a total time of from 3 to 4 hours.

Eight areas of knowledge are evaluated with the ASVAB test. They are General Science, Arithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Mathematics, Electronics Knowledge, Auto and Shop skills and Mechanical Comprehension. Sections range from only 15 questions to answer in the Paragraph Comprehension up to 35 questions to answer in the Word Knowledge section.

Should I Make Guesses To Questions on the ASVAB Test?

There score generated from your answers to test questions translates to what percentile of test takers you happen to fall into. For example, if you score 90% on the ASVAB you would know that 89% of the people taking the test did not do as well as you and that only 9% scored higher than your score.

Unlike most tests or exams, it does not pay to guess answers to questions on the ASVAB test that you are not sure that you are correct. Your score is based on the correct percentage of questions you answered. Therefore, this is not a test to make guesses on. If time permits, you can go back to questions in the current section to study those questions you did not answers already and review your answers to those that you felt confident about the correct answer.

Because the pen and paper ASVAB test is taken by using a question booklet and filling out an answer sheet. If you skip a question, be sure to notice the correct location in which to place the next answer. It is very easy to answer in the space you intended to leave blank, resulting in all the answers following being incorrect. You may know the answer to Question 14 is “A” but if you skipped Question 13 and forget to leave a blank on the answer sheet, you would really be stating that you think the best answer to Question 13 is “A” and so on, throughout the entire section.

What’s the difference between ASVAB and AFQT?

There is only one exam — the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery — ASVAB for short. The ASVAB has 10 tests. Your scores from four of the tests — Word Knowledge (WK), Paragraph Comprehension (PC), Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), and Mathematics Knowledge (MK) — are combined to compute your score on what is referred to as the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT). Scores on the AFQT are used to determine your eligibility for enlistment in the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps. Scores on all of the ASVAB tests are used to determine the best job for you in the military.

Is the CAT-ASVAB harder/easier than the paper and pencil ASVAB?

The CAT-ASVAB may seem harder or easier than the P&P-ASVAB because the CAT-ASVAB is tailored to your specific ability level. The P&P-ASVAB contains some very easy and very hard questions, but most are of average difficulty. The CAT-ASVAB software adjusts to your ability level and administers questions that are best suited for you. If you are above average ability, you will receive questions that are above average difficulty. Hence, the CAT-ASVAB may appear more difficult than the P&P-ASVAB. If you are below average ability, you will receive questions that are below average difficulty. Hence, the CAT-ASVAB may appear easier than the P&P-ASVAB. Even though the questions differ in difficulty across the CAT-ASVAB and P&P-ASVAB, the reported scores are statistically linked across the two methods of administration. Thus, you would be expected to receive a similar score regardless of whether you take the CAT-ASVAB or the P&P-ASVAB.

CAT ASVAB P&P ASVAB
Test Questions Time Limit Test Questions Time Limit
GS 16 Questions 8 Minutes GS 25 Questions 11 Minutes
AR 16 Questions 39 Minutes AR 30 Questions 36 Minutes
WK 16 Questions 8 Minutes WK 35 Questions 11 Minutes
PC 11 Questions 22 Minutes PC 15 Questions 13 Minutes
MK 16 Questions 20 Minutes MK 25 Questions 24 Minutes
EI 16 Questions 8 Minutes EI 20 Questions 9 Minutes
AI 11 Questions 7 Minutes AS 25 Questions 11 Minutes
SI 11 Questions 6 Minutes MC 25 Questions 19 Minutes
MC 16 Questions 20 Minutes AO 25 Questions 15 Minutes
AO 16 Questions 16 Minutes
Total 145 Questions 154 Minutes Total 225 Questions 149 Minutes

How often can I take the ASVAB?

After you take your initial ASVAB, you must wait one calendar month to retake the test. You must wait an additional calendar month to retest a second time. After that, you must wait six calendar months to retake the ASVAB. Your scores may be used for enlistment for up to two years from the date of testing.

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